OUR STORY

Brown Paper Press is a publishing company based in one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the United States — Long Beach, California. Founded by Jennifer M. Volland and Wendy Thomas Russell, writers and entrepreneurs, BPP seeks to fill the gap between traditional and indie publishing by developing and producing well-designed, well-written and well-marketed books.

We are driven by our mission: to engage readers on topics of contemporary culture through quality writing and thoughtful design. Our press strives to deliver socially relevant works that advise, guide, inspire and amuse. We champion authors with new perspectives, strong voices and original ideas that just might change the world. 

                                                                       Photo: Brittany Murray/Press-Telegram

                                                                       Photo: Brittany Murray/Press-Telegram

Gone are the days when the Big Six publishing houses set the agenda for the entire industry; Amazon has effectively changed the rules of the game. Although the big houses still benefit from the deepest pockets and the best distribution arrangements, the meteoric rise of e-book technology and Amazon's influence on the market has meant belt-tightening across the board. Most authors with most publishing houses are being asked to carry the lion's share of the book promotion themselves, despite only meager royalties — and, because platform is king, celebrity-driven books are constantly beating out wonderful writing by unknown authors. Niches full of passionate book buyers are overlooked. And books that don't immediately gain traction are put out to pasture or just put out of print entirely. 

Small presses long have been an indispensable part of the publishing industry — more open to risk-taking and less tied to commercial success than large publishing houses. They are credited with bringing some of the world’s most provocative and thoughtful writing to the printed page. In addition, small presses are known for developing close, supportive and enduring relationships with their authors and their communities; launching book promotion plans that last months, even years, longer than that of traditional publishers; rewarding authors with generous royalties; and involving authors in the behind-the-scenes decisions, such as marketing strategies and design.

In short, what small presses lack in name recognition, they more than make up for in passion, creativity and flexibility. We are thrilled to be a part of such a worthy tradition.

WHAT SETS US APART

We work with a small but mighty team of editors, designers, marketers and promoters. Each book is given all the attention it deserves — from scrupulous editing to fantastic design and creative marketing.  We cater to each individual book and offer plenty of one-on-one attention (i.e., we handle author meltdowns really well.)  And, largely because we like our planet and would like to see it around a lot longer, we employ print-on-demand technologies as often as possible — a decision that also means our books never go out of print.

DISTRIBUTION  

Brown Paper Press books are available in both print and ebook formats and are distributed by SCB Distributors in Gardena, Calif. At our inception in 2014, our print books were made available through IngramSpark, a subsidiary of Ingram Content Group. This arrangement made our books readily accessible by every bookstore and library in America and in several foreign countries. But it also meant that we lacked a dedicated sales force, or automatic exposure to established book sellers. That's why, as of Jan. 1, 2017, our books now are distributed by SCB — a full-service distributor and home to many small presses we so much admire.

While our books are available in Barnes & Noble stores and on Amazon, Brown Paper Press strongly supports independent bookstores. Our e-books may be found on Kindle, Apple iBooks, Kobo and more than 70 other e-book carriers.